's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

Bike weight: Is 18 pounds consider lightweight?(14 posts)

Bike weight: Is 18 pounds consider lightweight?Maverick
Jan 19, 2003 8:35 AM
At what weight can a bike be considered light?
currently my bike tip the scale at 17.8 pounds.

BTW will a sub 17 pound bike make any significant difference in a Hors Category or cat.1 climb?
I weighed 120 pounds.
Jan 19, 2003 8:55 AM
The lightest carbon bikes weigh in at just under 16lbs.

Will 1lb more make a difference? Doubt it, but it won't hurt if you can achieve it.
... actually...Akirasho
Jan 19, 2003 10:33 AM
... most makers try to push the envelop on UCI rules for total bike weight... which is 15 pounds (kinda odd, since the frame size is not taken into account)...

Above the UCI limit, some folks will hit between said and 18 pounds and consider that as light (I've got a rig that totes in at approximately 16.6).

And, there are those who aren't concerned with UCI regs where lightweight becomes an exercise in design and components... lightest I've heard of hit in around the 11 pound mark.

I'd imagine that the average quality road frame (independent of frame size) falls around 17 to 20 pounds.

Of course, in the final analysis, depending on the weight of the rider, the bicycle may be a small ratio of the total package weight... and indeed, an individual's own power to weight ratio has to be considered. In theory, a smaller individual would benefit from a pound saved more than a larger... in theory.

As you probably already know, many pros will opt for specialty climbing rigs on Hors Catagorie... but the effectiveness of said is probably less clear... and muddied a bit by marketing for the lightweight components they use.

I guess the final analysis would be to reflect on your own abilities and training (I climb like an M1 Abrams... dropped out the back of a C-17 regardless of bike weight) given the equipment you've got (can't rule out the psychological perks of riding trick equipment).

Be the bike.
Jan 19, 2003 1:08 PM
I'd say 18 pounds is about average. If you are 120 pounds and racing up a Hors hill, I'd say get under 16 pounds; you can fairly easily with the right parts.

You can calculate the difference in a hill climb here: .

The less you weigh, and the less power you make, the more important bike weight is on a climb. Still, as you can see, we are talking about seconds here. If are 20th place, 2 pounds less might get you 15th. If you are 2nd, the do it.

not sure who you ride withlaffeaux
Jan 19, 2003 10:44 PM
I'd say that 18 pounds is well below the average for bikes on the road. For high end bikes maybe 18 is average, but for the typical rider that spends $1000-$1500 on a bike (if that), I;d guess the bike they ended up with was above 18. For racers, it's lower for sure, but there are a many more recreational riders with 20+ pound bikes.
I thought we were talking about racing?DougSloan
Jan 20, 2003 7:05 AM
If someone is concerned about a Cat. 1 or Hors climb, I assume racing is the context. If not, it doesn't matter.

My 1999 Bianchi Alloro (which I no longer have), full Ultegra and Open Pros was around 19 pounds. That's barely considered a "racing" bike. My 2000 Bianchi EV2 with full Record and Nucleons is close to 15.1. I think those are fair representations of bikes that could be considered "racing."

Sizes could vary this a bit. If someone, such as the poster here, is 120 pounds, I assume they aren't 6'2" on a big, heavier, bike.

racing at what level?DaveG
Jan 20, 2003 9:33 AM
what level of racing are we talking about that includes Hors category climbs?? I don't think your average Cat 4/Citizen's race involves any Cat 1 or Hors Category climbs (not that there are any in most areas of the US). I'm not sure that you need a 15 lb bike to do 20 mile crits. Plus, one good crash will reduce those Record levers to worthless carbon twigs.
the uphill level kindDougSloan
Jan 20, 2003 9:43 AM
I thought the question was about racing, which means going as fast as you can to beat other people, up long, steep, hills. Sure, not many USCF races, if any, involve those kinds of climbs. However, there are some that do have extensive climbing, like the Everest Challenge in California, or Climb to Kaiser, the Death Ride (not really a race), Terrible Two double century, the Furnace Creek 508 (with 35,000 feet climbing), just to name a few I'm familiar with.

It doesn't matter whether you are a Cat 4 or Pro. Actually, the lower the power you make, the more weight matters.

Can't see how this has anything to do with crits or crashing. The guy inquired about big climbs. Besides, "one good crash" would likely bugger up any kind of handlebar mounted shifters.

the uphill level kindDaveG
Jan 20, 2003 9:56 AM
I understand that from a physics point of view you can "prove" that lighter is better. My point was do you really need a $4K bike to ride a Cat4 crit? If you need to spend that to squeeze out a slightly better placing was it worth it? Where do you go from there? And yes, a crash will trash any lever. It's just that a Centaur lever is a heck of a lot cheaper to fix than Record. If your disposable income is such that this does not matter then its a non-issue. My issue was more the contention that a super-light bike is a prerequisite to racing at the lower levels of the sport.
I agreeDougSloan
Jan 20, 2003 10:05 AM
I agree with what you are saying completely; it's just that it doesn't have much to do with the question asked here.

The cost/benefit equation will be different for everyone, and the weight factor is only really important if you are in contention for winning big climbing races. On the other hand, if you are right on the edge of being dropped on big climbs, even in Cat. 4 races, a little weight might make the difference between being dropped and destroying your day or keeping up and contesting the finish.

The idea, at least for me, in racing is to go as fast as I can go. Period. Anything that keeps me from doing that, which I am capable of changing, I will most likely change.

If you aren't racing, then it's pretty irrelevant. I have a 20 pound steel Alloro Bianchi that I really enjoy riding, and I'll make it my century bike and training bike when keeping up with a fast group is not vital. It might do well in crits, too.

depends on the frame sizeColnagoFE
Jan 20, 2003 7:05 AM
For my 62cm frame, 18lbs would be pretty light. For a small frame it might be on the heavy side.
The effect of 1 lb.Kerry
Jan 19, 2003 5:49 PM
One hour of climbing at TdF pace (400W) on a 7% grade, 1 lb. added weight will cost you 15 seconds. At a much more leisurely pace (180W - roughly equivalent to 20 mph on the flats) it will cost you 20 seconds. Significant if you are racing the TdF trying to put food on the table and save for retirement. Not so significant if you're a regular human. You decide.
And if you DON'T race...Ray Sachs
Jan 20, 2003 3:47 AM
...a pound is meaningless. Think about whether you can FEEL the difference between a bike with one full water bottle and two. A full water bottle is about two pounds.

I have two road bikes - 18 pounds and 21 pounds. The 21 lb bike rides better, is more comfortable, and is the bike I always pull out for long rides. And it doesn't feel any heavier on the road. Unless you're a pretty high level racer, I wouldn't worry about a couple of pounds.

re: Bike weight: Is 18 pounds consider lightweight?Franchise
Jan 20, 2003 8:10 AM
I consider 18lbs. average. My Prince is 20lbs with training wheels and about 18.5 lbs with racing wheels.

I have a light bike for climbing that is 16lbs. That is a light bike. While 18lbs is average, I have seen some people do incredible things on bikes at that weight, including myself.